Beyond Small Business Loans: Fraud in the SBA

Wednesday, 25, September , 2013 by

The Small Business Administration is the governmental agency responsible for backing small business loans and ensuring that small businesses get their fare share of government contracts. Legally, the SBA is responsible for ensuring that 23 percent of Federal contracts got to small businesses. Last year, the SBA claimed to have awarded 22.25% of contracting dollars to small businesses, falling just shy of their goal. However, The American Small Business League has forced the SBA to reveal information proving that they diverted contracts to 235 Fortune 500 companies. Originally, the SBA had attempted to deny the ASBL request, which they appealed under the freedom of information act. What was revealed was that the SBA intentionally fabricated statistics around the number and volume of contracts awarded to small businesses by including contracts awarded to major corporations in a breach of Federal law. The SBA has also come under fire for a lack of oversight for their pilot programs, including the Patriot express loan program for veterans that has cost

Video is a medium that brands have used to create ad materials that engage audiences for over a hundred years. The level of emotional resonance and memorability that can be achieved with video is second to none. Just how effective is video at conveying information? According to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, one minute of video can convey as much as 1.8 million written words. This means that a single video can potentially create as many conversions on you site as multiple pages of written copy. Still not convinced? Hosting video on your website conveys other benefits at well. In terms of SEO, your web page is more likely to come up high in search engines if it contains video, as indexing robots look for video as a way of identifying material that is potentially engaging for web surfers. In addition, video can greatly increase the time that visitors spend on your site, another important aspect that search engines take into account when ranking

Since the beginning of the Great Recession in 2007, small business lending took a dramatic hit, building on a gradual trend of decline that first started in the mid 90’s. Many small business owners were not only faced with tighter lending restrictions from banks and credit unions, but also devalued homes and collateral thanks to a break in the real estate market and inflation. Small business hiring slowed down, freezing the major source of job growth in the US and worsening the economic situation. Small business hiring is only now beginning to pick up as the economy starts to thaw, however things are far from ideal, and many businesses are still cut off from funding, in holding patterns and experiencing little growth or opportunity to make new hires. Within this economic climate, an even more problematic situation was encountered by the subset of business owners who had their credit damaged during the recession. Typically, business owners who had taken out loans to finance anything from a new

Small business owners are in the unique position of having much more leeway when it comes to their marketing strategies, and that can mean the ability to create deep bonds with their customers, boosting their repeat and word of mouth business to new heights. One of the best ways to achieve this level of client satisfaction is through personalization of your services.  Nothing says more to a client then a product that they feel is tailor made to them. Even adding in a few choices where none existed before will make your clients feel as if they were allowed to choose exactly what they wanted. Many small business owners balk at the idea of personalization, thinking that in order for there to be touches in their service adapted for individual customers they must spend large amounts of time and effort, which they may not be able to expend. Often they view the word “personalization” as being synonymous with “more work”. This doesn’t have to be

Small business owners loan a lot of their revenues to the government through taxes, but being independent entrepreneurs, they are also able to take advantage of programs that can help them recover some of their revenues. As a small business owner, your life and your business are blended together, so that it can become unclear at times what expenses can be used for a tax write off. Here is a short primer on what types of expenses can be reported for your business, so that you are not forced to pay for any expenses that you are not required to. Travel expenses. Keep track of how much you drive for business related projects. Even driving to and from the airport for business trips counts as travel expenses in the eyes of the government, so make sure you keep your eyes on the miles you log in order to report them for savings. Keep track of your receipts. There is a tendency among many people, business owners

Small business owners in all stages of business growth need to know what their client base wants, how much they are willing to pay for it, and when and where they want to go in order to buy it. Market research is not simply nice to have for business owners, it is in fact an essential part of operating a business and without it you are flying blind. For this reason, it should be clearly understood by business owners just what is meant by market research and how they are able to do their own in order to develop a clear cut plan they can use for running their business. The first thing business owners need to do before they conduct their market research is identify their desired client base. This can dramatically effect the way in which you will collect your data. for example, a business whose primary clients are in their late teens and early twenties might do well with a facebook survey,

There is no question that it is difficult for small business owners to procure loans in today’s economy. The media has been abuzz with reports on the freeze of business credit, and the aftermath of the great recession has property and other forms of collateral devalued to the point that they are no longer sufficient for securing business loans. However, the Washington Post recently put out an article positing that the decline in business lending is not an entirely new phenomenon. The Cleveland Federal Reserve has released charts indicating that small business lending from banks has been on the wane since as far back as the mid 90’s when the economy was strong. Traditional banks are cutting back the percentages of their portfolios that include business funding, and evidently have been doing so for over a decade. According to the Federal Reserve, this slow downward trend indicates that there is not likely to be a thaw in the lending practices of banks towards small business owners,

The regulations created in 2011 to restrict the work week of commercial truck drivers seem here to stay, after appeals from the major truck driver constituencies, the American Trucking Associations and the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association,  failed to have the laws overturned. The primary concern of truck drivers is the loss of billable hours that they are experiencing because of the regulations, which force them to take rest periods and change the protocols surrounding the restarting of the working week. The rationale behind the new laws is that many of the accidents caused by trucks and buses on the road involved fatigued drivers whose reaction times and awareness of driving conditions were compromised by their lack of energy. The DOT estimates that up to 13% of drivers involved in serious accidents were fatigued, and that the new regulations and mandated rest periods will save 19 lives each year thanks to better rested logistics workers. It is hard to gauge the immediate economic effect of

According to an annual survey by thumbtack.com , the best states and cities for small business in the US are Utah, Alabama, New Hampshire, Idaho and Texas. Additionally. four of the top ten residential areas for small business incubation were located in Texas, which due to a mild climate, low overhead and large population is very hospitable to entrepreneurs. Another factor that allows businesses to grow is the sense of community and preference for local brands exhibited by the local population. Surprisingly, the majority of businesses surveyed stated that taxes in their areas were not unfair, and said that the biggest factor in determining business friendliness was in fact the local licensing requirements. The easier it is to apply for licensing, be if for liquor, food services, hotels or other types of businesses, the easier it is for businesses to devote time to growth and avoid getting bogged down in bureaucracy. Another key attribute to business development is the ability for business owners to obtain small business

The most visible collateral damage in trucking is the aftermath of a crash, where roads, vehicles, and their occupants can be catastrophically destroyed. However, the driving forces behind this kind of an accident account for a much more subtle and far reaching type of problem. Driver health has been an increasingly topical issue, with new regulations in place mandating more rest periods for drivers with the rationale being that chronic driver fatigue, sleep apnea and over consumption of nutritionally poor foods and caffeine are leading causes in many of the fatal crashes that occur each year. In the aftermath of these regulations, many drivers are reporting dissatisfaction with the way that their now mandated rest periods affect their schedules and the number of billable miles they can claim. In particular, driving at night, when traffic is lightest, is now much more difficult as drivers are required to get a good night’s  sleep. Aside from effecting the schedules of drivers, the new regulations in conjunction with

TOP css.php